Music and media light up palace performance

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Music and media light up palace performance


Guests attend last year’s performance of “Yeonhyang” at Gyeonghoeru Pavilion at Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul. Provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration

If you want to party like the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) did hundreds of years ago, head to Gyeongbok Palace later this month.

The palace will offer a rare nighttime performance at Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, which is built on the pond within the palace and is often thought to be the highlight of the facility.

Titled “Yeonhyang,” which roughly translates as a “banquet for state guests,” the performance will feature modern elements such as media arts and traditional elements such as pansori (narrative singing), folk songs and tightrope walking.

The pavilion was where kings used to hold parties to welcome the royal family, civil and military officers and foreign dignitaries. This year marks the 600th anniversary since the pavilion was built in 1412.

The performance is the second such event at Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, following the CHA’s first presentation there last fall.

The CHA is in charge of preserving and overseeing the management of cultural properties. The pavilion is National Treasure No. 224.

In recent years, the CHA has been working to make cultural properties more accessible to the public by allowing them to be used in various ways, including for concerts and musicals.

To mark the 600th anniversary of the structure, CHA officials say they have upgraded and enriched the content and format of the show.

“There is more storytelling in this season’s show, in addition to information on the historic significance of Gyeongbok Palace and Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, and a unique touch has been added through the adoption of media arts technology,” said Lee Jong-hee, an official with the CHA’s department of cultural property usage.

Other CHA officials say that they were encouraged by the show’s warm reception last year, saying that the architectural beauty and night view lend a rather majestic aura to the production, which blends traditional Korean singing, dancing and festivities.

“Yeonhyang” takes place at 8 p.m. every day from March 28 to 30 at Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won ($26.50) to 50,000 won. Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit 3 and walk for five minutes. For more information, visit or call (02) 3011-2151.

By Kim Hyung-eun []

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